Experts in smart city development and stakeholders in Niger State on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 met to strategise on the Minna and Suleja smart city project.
The Niger State Government is partnering the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to develop a smart city project in the state.
Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme (SUP), said during the meeting that the engagement was for stakeholders to come up with modern city concept for the state.
Zubairu explained that the effort was to integrate Minna and Suleja to include all aspect of life such as youth and women, education, economic and social activities.
He said the concept would help to manage cities better and make homes safer, with facilities to censor people in terms of crimes and fire incidents.
“The smart city project will commence with Minna and Suleja as pilot project and gradually extend to other local government areas,” he said.
Zubairu added that transforming Minna and Suleja into smart cities would ensure rapid development because of the digitalisation of life in such projects.
He disclosed that government would make a law to mandate those with intention of building a house to make use of smart heater rather than the normal water heater that consumes electricity.
The coordinator added that smart city open data would be operated to make people to interact with government and their community leaders directly.
Mr Abubakar Ahmed, an official of Department of Electrical Engineering, Federal University of Technology Minna, in a presentation titled “Smart City Strategy: An Urban Policy Proposal”, explained that the concept was to introduce the use of technology in all aspects of life.
Ahmed said the vision was to improve mobility, ensure total monitoring, increase shared public transport and provide information to citizens using smart energy components.
He said the effort would improve on the existing facilities to make life better for residents.
“It is all about people going smart, making things easier for citizens to be able to get services in an easy way for their sustainability, ” he said.
In her contribution, Mrs Rossana Poblet, UN-Habibat Consultant on Integrated Development Plan in Niger State, said the smart city concept was to have an efficiency city where residents could access services.
By Rita Iliya